Fairfield resident tests positive for West Nile virus

Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH) has confirmed that Fairfield has one of the first two positive human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) for the 2018 mosquito season. The individual, a 78-year-old resident of Fairfield, was hospitalized but is recovering. All the surrounding towns around Fairfield have had mosquitoes test positive for West Nile this season. This is not Fairfield’s first human case of WNV, this is the seventh case since 2000 and 33rd case in Fairfield County since 2000.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), WNV is commonly spread to humans by mosquito bites. Most people who are infected with WNV do not have any symptoms; however some can develop a fever with other symptoms like headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Rarely do people who are infected develop a serious or fatal illness.

“We want to encourage residents to reduce their risk of WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking the appropriate precautions,” said Sands Cleary, Director of Health for the Town of Fairfield. Preventing mosquito-borne diseases can be achieved by taking simple steps.

  • Don’t go outside when mosquitoes are active (between dusk and dawn).
  • Use mosquito repellant (Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents).
  • Wear protective clothing such as hats, long sleeve shirt and pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside by ensuring all screens are in good repair.

Other steps you can take to further prevent cases are to eliminate breeding areas around your home. Check for standing water till the first frost. Any item(s) or area(s) that has standing water for 7 days after a rain event can be a mosquito breeding area. Below are tips to eliminate breeding areas:

  • Empty, drain, remove, cover or turn upside down any container that can hold water. This includes buckets, barrels, flower pots, tin cans, bottles, jars, paint cans, toys, etc.
  • Change water in birdbaths frequently, at least once a week.
  • Report any standing water on private property, such as abandoned pools, to the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3020.

Taking these steps can greatly reduce the presence of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. CTDPH and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) will continue to monitor the status of WNV through surveillance, trapping and testing.

Go the Fairfield Health Department webpage for an informational video on mosquitoes found at www.fairfieldct.org/health. For more information on WNV, visit: www.cdc.gov. For questions contact the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3020.

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